Genomics Aotearoa

Genomic solutions for a plant taonga: a high-quality rewarewa genome

Genomics Aotearoa Jun 09, 2021

[Illustration credit: “Seven Sisters, Knightia excelsa” Jennifer Duval-Smith ] By Plant & Food Research High Quality Genomes project co-leader David Chagné The completion of the native rewarewa (Knightia excelsa) tree genome sequence is demonstrating New Zealand is now taking charge of producing genomes on its native species. These are species that are important to us, and have taonga … Read More

Indigenous Genomic Databases – two case studies

Genomics Aotearoa May 26, 2021

By Phillip Wilcox, University of Otago, Ngāti Rakaipaaka, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa There is no one size fits all when it comes to designing research that fulfils cultural obligations, but two research exemplars from opposite ends of the world that incorporate Indigenous perspectives are providing potential direction. It’s hoped exemplars such as these will be able to guide … Read More

Where are all the four-leaf clovers? And what does that have to do with learning to code?

Genomics Aotearoa Mar 30, 2021

By Monica Vallender, Master’s student with AgResearch Invermay and the University of Otago. A few months ago, while home for the Christmas break, my mother – out of the blue – turned to me and asked, “what made you actually decide you wanted to go to university and study science?” Shocked and never thinking that I would someday have to … Read More

Wasps are forever? The potential to eliminate an invasive pest in New Zealand; permissions withstanding

Genomics Aotearoa Dec 21, 2020

By Gemma McLaughlin, University of Otago PhD candidate Invasive social wasps have long plagued New Zealand’s beech forests and suburbs. Now, a  genetic technology holds the potential to stop such wasps in their tracks. But one major issue lurks: are scientists even allowed to explore this option? New Zealand summers are a great thing. We have our kiwi classics: … Read More

Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data

Genomics Aotearoa Sep 23, 2020

By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open source for all researchers to use – the rational being … Read More

Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships

Genomics Aotearoa Sep 15, 2020

By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, it becomes harder to define what constitutes effective consultation, and … Read More

Containers for reproducible bioinformatics research

Genomics Aotearoa Aug 12, 2020

By Aleksandra Pawlik, Ngoni Faya, Joseph Guhlin, Megan Guidry, Tom Harrop, Dinindu Senanayake Rapid development of computational bioinformatics tools mean we can more easily push research boundaries. However, it comes at a cost. The complexity of the software chain that needs to be installed and configured to run advanced workflows results in researchers spending hours, if not days, trying … Read More

Data analysis skills are in hot demand – what should we be doing about it?

Genomics Aotearoa Jul 29, 2020

By Associate Professor Mik Black, Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago The increased availability of complex biological data sets means that analysis and computation are becoming critically important skills for New Zealand’s future scientists. Because of this, we need to be doing everything we can to help our students develop these skills, to better prepare them for large-scale data analysis … Read More

Better understanding bacterial blooms in New Zealand waterways

Genomics Aotearoa Jul 13, 2020

Dr Kim Handley, University of Auckland Just how do cyanobacteria live in their natural habitat, and how do they coexist with other bacteria and microbial life forms? And what difference will knowledge on this bacteria have on maintaining New Zealand’s water quality? One of the consequences of declining water quality is an increase in cyanobacteria – these are photosynthetic bacteria … Read More